Canceled: A short story

This travel blog is not off to a good start. Mostly because I can’t seem to travel!  Yes, the horror of the Galapagos trip has returned.  And, again, it’s all Chicago’s fault.


Imagine it is 8:30 at night. You have a 5:30 a.m. flight that you need to leave the house at 4:15 a.m. to make.  (Luckily, you fly out of a small airport, so that “get there an hour early, oh wait, TSA has gone crazy, make that 2 hours” can safely be 45 minutes.) So it is getting close to bed time. But then you check your phone. There is an update from the airline.  WHAT??? CANCELED!!!


So you call United.  You must have been one of the first to notice that your flight was no longer going to fly, because the wait time isn’t that long, a rep greats you almost immediately, and you are optimistic. Planes from CID do pretty much does nothing but fly back and forth to ORD- and you had a long layover, you’ll make it.  But tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. The rep spends 30 minutes searching and comes back with the news that there is NO way to get from CID to YUL tomorrow. On any airline.   How about Des Moines  or Moline? 15 minutes wait… nope, nothing there either.  It is impossible to get to YUL from Iowa tomorrow; not through Denver, not through Toronto. It isn’t going to happen.
He offers to look at Friday or to give us a full refund. We don’t know. This is a more expensive trip than we would take for such a short time; but cancelling means we lose $200 on the AirBnB.  So here is where I made my mistake: I told him we’d have to call back.

We talk about canceling the trip. We talk about driving to Chicago for the flight tomorrow (nixed due to expensive parking, gas, tolls, and the chance we’ll get there to a canceled flight.)

10 minutes later (and a bit of yelling… sorry sweetie) we had our plan. We’d try to rebook for Friday, hopefully coming back Tuesday instead of Monday. So I call.  “The wait time is greater than 30 minutes” the hold message tells me.  Well, shoot.  I’m holding…


We get on our apps and are able to rebook for Friday. Kevin can get on the early flight, but I can’t- for some reason, despite making the reservation together (I did it on the phone, so the agent did it)- they don’t seem to be linked. That doesn’t really help.  Okay, so he gets us onto a later flight. Late enough that Friday is wasted (as Thursday was going to be) by the time we get to Montreal, but at least we get there.
There are more voices raised in frustration. How does this happen every time we book a trip? And a bit of compassionate understanding when there actually wasn’t yelling when Kevin accidentally hung up the phone I had already been waiting for 20 minutes on.  And maybe a little bit of crying.

I was able to make an alteration to the AirBnB- the host was okay with us coming in a day late, no money lost. That was good.


And after 40 minutes of holding on the NEW call, I get to talk to an agent.  Can I fly home Tuesday instead?  Well… I still don’t know. I was on the phone with an agent, and the phone disconnected. It is now 10:15.


I have called back AGAIN.  I have answered “Existing Reservations” four times for the operator, and screamed it twice. (Worst phone system ever. Give me damn numbers to press!


And then on Thursday I fly to New York. So now I have 1 day to do my laundry and repack.


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